Apple is just getting started with the iPhone 5

Apple is widely expected to unveil its long-awaited iPhone 5 on September 12 at an event in San Francisco, California. 

Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White believes the roll out may very well be the “biggest upgrade in consumer electronics history” and likely heralds a year of highly anticipated consumer electronics launches. 

Indeed, Cupertino is reportedly prepping a refresh of its iPod lineup, along with new iMacs, an iPad Mini and perhaps even an upgraded full-size iPad and Apple-branded TV.

According to White, Apple is projected to sell between 5 million-5.5 iPhone 5 million units during its debut weekend. 

“The iPhone 4S sold over 4 million units in the first three days, and assuming supply chain constraints aren’t a major issue and the seven country rollout ensues, we believe at least 5 million to 5.5 million iPhone 5′s can be sold in this same time frame,” White wrote in an industry note obtained by BGR. 

”With similar caveats, we believe Apple could sell 10 million to 12 million iPhone 5 units in 4QFY12, making our iPhone projections look conservative.”

Chris Whitmore of Deutsche Bank expressed similar sentiments, noting the new iPhone will represent the most significant handset upgrade to date from Apple, with an expected LTE 4G radio, larger 4-inch display and a redesigned form factor.

“We expect this feature set to drive a massive refresh cycle which should be reflected in Apple’s valuation over time,” he explained in an industry note cited by AppleInsider. 

”In short, we’d use any weakness in AAPL around the iPhone 5 event as a buying opportunity.”

As noted above, the iPhone 5 will likely feature a larger 4-inch display, 4G LTE connectivity and a redesigned case that is taller and thinner than the current model. 

It is expected to hit the streets on September 21st, while preorder availability may start as early as this Wednesday – immediately after launch.